Student designs longboard racks

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017
Senior Calvin Johnson long boards across campus on Saturday April, 15. Johnson designed board racks that will be installed at different locations on campus. (Photo by Colin Kohrs)

Senior Calvin Johnson long boards across campus on Saturday April, 15. Johnson designed board racks that will be installed at different locations on campus. (Photo by Colin Kohrs)

Colin Kohrs / Winonan

Longboarders and skateboarders grab a padlock, because board racks are coming to the Winona State University campus. These racks are being locally manufactured by Winona Welding and Sand Blasting—and they were designed by a Winona State student, Calvin Johnson, a fourth-year public relations major.

Calvin Johnson like many other students close to campus, enjoys longboarding.

“It’s so efficient. It doesn’t take a lot of work to get from here to the other side of campus. It doesn’t take a lot of time either,” he said.

But he came across a common problem for boarders.

“I’ve been riding it to class for some time now—whenever it’s nice out I like to ride it—and every time I get to campus and I get to my class building, I have to pick it up and walk and carry it,” he said. “I have to find a place to put it in the classroom. I either have to put it on the floor, or I have to put it up against the wall, and I find it rather annoying.”

Johnson started designing a rack that could lock up boards, and with the help of his roommate, Kevin Kolb, a senior composite materials engineering major, Johnson put together a plan.

“We talked about it and I went into the engineering lab with my roommate, Kevin, and we sat down and designed it on a computer,” Johnson said. “It went from pencil drawings to a real 3D model.”

Johnson took his proposal to Winona State administration back in October and with the help of Lisa Pearson, arboretum director and interim director of planning & construction at Winona State, the racks are now coming to campus.

“[They are] fabricating and supplying the materials for it. I’m working with them right now to put these together,” Johnson said. “They’re about to be put together this week.”

The university has purchased five racks at $799. The boards will be installed around high traffic areas on campus like Kryzsko Commons and the Integrated Wellness Complex.

Each rack has ten slots. The boards slide in sideways, hanging vertically by the truck. A stretch of galvanized wire secures the board to the rack. The racks stand about five feet tall.

“It’s pretty simple. All you need is a padlock to lock your board up,” Johnson said. “It can accommodate for essentially all [boards].”

The racks will likely be installed in the next couple of weeks.

“I’m hoping to get them on campus before everybody leaves for summer,” Johnson said.

After that happens, Johnson hopes to bring his design even further than the Winona State campus.

“I’m planning on taking it to other universities as well. I planning on going to other schools in Minnesota and other schools out east as well this summer,” Johnson said. “I’m just trying to help myself and help other people too.”

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